Deitte, Alphonse (1806-1856) – Album with 18 original drawings of views in Algeria. Made during the French colonisation in the 1840’s. Algeria, 1840’s. Oblong 8vo. [19 x 285 mm]; Contemporary cardboard album; 32 leaves.
Very rare and important drawing album from the early colonisation years in Algeria. The album incorporates 18 pencil drawings, most of which are heightened with white color. 14 are signed by the author. Size of drawings: mostly 13 x 17 cm, the last one 17 x 25 cm.
List of drawings:
1] (A French military man (obviously a self portrait) and two Algerians standing before an Islamic temple) (used as template for the title vignette in his 1853 book). With a pencil sketch in the right margin, illustrationg an Algeric cape.
2] „Port de Mers-el-Kébir“.
3] „Pépiniere de Misserghuin“.
4] „Col de la montagne du Santon“.
5] „Maratout du Santon“.
6] „Résidence des anciens Beys d’Oran“ (with three pencil sketches in the margins illustrating an ornament and architectural details )
7] „Vue de la marine a Orran“.
8] „Vue d’Oran prise du chateau neuf“ (used as template for the frontispiece in his 1853 book).
9]“Vue prise dans le revain d’Oran“.
10] „Palmiers dans le ravin d’Oran“.
11) „Vue d’Oran prise du ravin“.
12] „Vue du port d’Arzew“.
13] „Pont de la Macta“.
14] „Mostaganem et route d’Arzev“.
15] „La Tour des cigognes a Mostaganem“.
16] „La ruine du Pirate“.
17] (Two profile portraits of Algerian men)
18] „Porte d’Aguadir, Tlemcen“ (used as Template for the 1846 woodcut in Le Magasin Pittoresque)
Alphonse Deitte was born in 1806 in Strasbourg. He and his siblings became orphans when her mother Rose Louise Josephe Briache died in 1828. A tutor was appointed on December 19, 1828, Ferdinand Massy, a brewer who tried to get them help from the Ministry of War. In 1834 Deitte get married in Verdun with Anne Adelaide Limosin (1813-1871). Deitte was Garde du Génie de première classe and Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur and was stationed six years in Algeria. He wrote a book about his deployment in Algeria which was published in 1853. Today the book is extremely rare. It is it’s an early account of French colonisation years in Algeria: „Pensées scientifiques, philosophiques et religieuses d’un Arabe de l’Algérie“. (Paris, Garnier Freres, 1853). The Book incorporaes two woodcuts: a pictorial title-vignette (reused on the original wrappers) and a frontispiece, both based on drawings from the present album. The last drawing in the album was also the template for a woodcut in „Le Magasin Pittoresque“ from 1846 (page 380), where Deitte was also mentioned as the creator.
Condition: binding some rubbed and bumped, spine with some paper loss, first leave a bit foxed otherwise only small marginal mold stains
A very important early drawing album from 1840’s Algeria by a French military officer.